West Michigan Partnership for Children’s (WMPC) Performance and Quality Improvement Coordinator, Tim Voskuil, hopes his new role will bring reform to the child welfare system through continued discussions as well as dedicated measures to reduce racial disproportionalities.
“So many things about the organization and the perspectives of the staff resonated with me that I felt I needed to be a part of this awesome organization!
Learn more about Tim:
Number of years you’ve worked in the nonprofit industry 0, but have worked in education for over 10 years
Why you wanted to be in this field?
I have always had a strong desire to help others, and particularly those in more vulnerable populations. I have worked in both education and in the business world, and find working in human service roles and organizations is really much more fulfilling to me. Also, my wife and I were foster parents who adopted our son, so I have a personal connection.
What is your role at WMPC? What are your responsibilities in this role?
My role will be to help improve outcomes for children in foster care by helping local agencies to assess and improve their performance. My responsibilities will be to obtain and validate data, and work to provide clarity and shared understanding of the data. Through understanding, we can assess current performance against standards and benchmarks and change or develop practices to improve practices. Ultimately, my role will be to facilitate this process and provide guidance and expertise in improving practices and outcomes for children.
What is the most rewarding part about your job?
I’ve only been in this role for a short time, but the most rewarding part is the passion, excitement, and expertise from the staff in their dedication to improving the lives and outcomes for children in foster care.
On the flip side, what is the most challenging part about your job?
I think the most challenging part of the job is thinking about and knowing that there is a child that represents each of the data points that we analyze, and that child is going through more than we can possibly know as almost every part of their life has been disrupted.
What inspired you to want to work for WMPC?
I was really intrigued with the job description, which led me to research the organization, mission, vision, values, and staff spotlights. So many things about the organization and the perspectives of the staff resonated with me that I felt I needed to be a part of this awesome organization!
What is one thing you wish people knew about foster care?
I wish people understood how much of a need there is for foster parents and for others to be involved in the system, like respite care. I also wish (I know this is 2!) that people knew they don’t have to be perfect to be foster parents!
How has your position at WMPC and your experience in the nonprofit industry changed your perspective?
I’ve only been in this position for a short time and having been a foster parent I had first-hand experience with the system. I didn’t know about performance-based approaches to the foster care system, and that there are similar initiatives across the country. So I would say that my perspective has broadened to see that there are significant, systems-based initiatives aimed at improving the foster care system and ultimately, improving the experiences and outcomes for the children in foster care.
What is your hope for WMPC and the Kent County foster care system?
My hope is for continued success and improvement, and greater collaboration with agencies in Kent County and throughout the state.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
While I’m so impressed by the approach taken by WMPC toward the foster care system, I am equally impressed and excited about their focus on the care and development of their employees!